Loni Love Talks Hosting The Real & Her Reaction To That Pregnancy Announcement

Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images.
There is nothing stale about The Real. Topics vary from pop culture news to self-help. The guests include people from all walks of life. With four women of color serving as hosts, it’s the most diverse talk show on daytime television. It has been nominated for seven Daytime Emmys and an NAACP Image Award. Premiering in 2013, it is earning its spot as the talk show of our generation.
So it makes sense then, that when we had one of the show’s hosts in the R29 studio, we talked about a little bit of everything. Loni Love, a woman who holds the comedian and writer titles as well, worked as an electrical engineer before she got into show business. We got her to spill the tea about working on such a successful talk show, body positivity, and exactly where she was when she found out Beyoncé was carrying twins. Check out our interview, below.
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Who was your favorite guest on the show?
“We’ve had so many great guests. I think this season it was J.Lo because she brought so much spunk and class. I actually forgot that I started with J.Lo; when we were at the Laugh Factory, she was waitress and I was an up-and-coming comedian. When I saw her I’m like, ‘Oh my god!’ You realize how long it’s been. She’s gone her way. I’ve gone my way. It was just a great reunion for us."
These are the stories that great Hollywood memoirs are made of! What guest of yours was the worst, or hardest to crack?
“It depends on what the guest is there for. We had Rachel Dolezal, and we basically had to do a 20-minute interview and then we cut it down to like 6 minutes because we were trying to understand her and things. There’s never a guest that I don’t like. It’s just maybe something that we’re trying to get them to say, or get them to do or admit. And sometimes you get it. Sometimes you don’t. She was one of those type of guests... But in the end she admitted that she was born white. It was so simple.” [We both laugh at this exclusive “scoop” from The Real.]
What celeb scoop are you playing close attention to right now?
“If you go to my Instagram and you follow me on Facebook you know that there are a lot of… I like inspirational stories. I like stories of women who are strong and doing their thing. Serena [Williams] announcing her pregnancy... along with Beyoncé, along with Ciara. I love those type of stories because these are working women and they’re not letting anything stop them. I usually follow those type of stories. And inspirational stories. It’s just so much happening right now when you have social media that you can follow that. It just depends on how I feel about it and what day. But right now it’s all of these sisters having these babies. I just like that.”
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Who is your favorite celeb couple?
“I really love John Legend and Chrissy Teigen because I saw Baby Luna on the plane one day. I got on and Chrissy wasn’t there. It was John. He’s holding baby Luna, and when I tell you that baby’s temperament is just so precious. She was just so cool and calm. It was a red-eye flight. He was asleep and she was drawing all over everything. I just like the way that they present family. I think it’s a positive note. I like Chrissy. She just doesn’t care. If somebody comes at her, she’s going to come right back at them. She doesn’t take herself too seriously. I’m learning a lot by looking at her do social media. I’ve learned not to take myself so seriously. [Ed note: I’ve never been so jealous of someone's in-flight experience.]
Has there ever been a question or issue that you didn’t want to touch with a 10-foot pole, either because it was a sensitive topic or extremely personal?
“It’s always! It’s always something. But I think the purpose of The Real is that we discuss the topics that are uncomfortable or the things that we don’t necessarily want to talk about because... that’s the purpose of the show. We have to make people understand that The Real is the first talk show with all women of color. You’ve got everybody, something of every culture. So when there’s a topic, we’re going to talk about it differently. Even though we may not want to talk about it or we know we may get in trouble or somebody gets upset, you have to talk about it because you want to give a different side of what we feel and what we think. For a long time the talk shows were always one particular type of view. Now you have something different. So yes, there are times when we don’t want to talk about things. We don’t want to talk about Monique and Lee Daniels. But okay, let’s find out what’s going on with that, so maybe we can solve — and help them solve — the issue. And let people see what’s actually happening. There are a lot of things I don’t want to talk about. [Laughs]”
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How do you and your team respond to something like the Manchester attack, which is obviously more serious but still related to entertainment?
"For season 3, we’re not a live show. It’s really hard to talk about things as they occur because the way our taping schedule is, it could be late. But if it’s something important like Manchester, what we’ll do is use it as a jumping point. So with Manchester we’ll take it and we’ll go, ‘What can we do about safety at concerts, or something like that?’ So we’ll use it as a jumping-off topic. But because we’re really not a news show and we’re not live, it’s really hard to do the late breaking type of issues. But that may change in season 4. Who knows? If it does, it’ll be very interesting.”
Every summer here at Refinery29 we have this initiative called Take Back The Beach, which is all about body positivity during a time of the year where body-shaming and hating can reach all-time highs — [Loni can’t hold it in.]
“That’s right! Big girls fuck too!” [She then asks if she can swear. It’s the best part of the interview by far.]
You are the only plus-sized host on The Real, do you think it’s important to have body diversity on daytime TV and entertainment in general?
“I think it’s important to be healthy. That’s the one thing I always talk about on the show. Also, I’ve learned that… just because you’re thin doesn’t mean you’re healthy. But what I did for the show this season, I developed a hashtag called #dontletyoursizerestrictyou. Basically, if you go [on Instagram], you can see the hashtag: It’s me in different types of outfits, outfits that I normally wouldn’t wear. This is my go-to. [She points to her outfit.] My black stretch, my jeans. I’m comfort. I’m comfort chic, that’s what we like to say. But on the show you can’t be like that. So what I decided to do was start this hashtag to encourage other women. No matter what they look like, not matter what their shape, how thin, how small... You can go outside of yourself and dress. And that’s why it’s important. Look at Chrissy Metz on This Is Us! It’s great to see that there are different type of women. The reason why I think a lot of times people feel uncomfortable is because they’re not used to seeing it. When you’re not used to seeing something you go, ‘Well look. Ugh.. Ew… eh…’ But everybody’s thin. But now people are getting accustomed to seeing me and they go, ‘Oh wow.’ Or Adrienne is short. Jeannie’s really thin. Jeannie you need a sandwich! But it’s all done with people accepting each other and being straight with one another."
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Now that you’ve mentioned them, who is the biggest diva out of The Real hosts?
"It depends on the day. Friday, I’m ready to get out of there so I’m the biggest diva. Monday is start-up day so I think it would be Jeannie. Any time in between could be Adrienne or Tamera. [Laughs]"
Where were you and what was your first reaction when the news broke that Beyoncé is pregnant with twins?
"Oh my goodness! I was at work and I always keep my phone with me, and there was an alert. When we saw it, it didn’t look like it was a real post with her with the flowers and she was like that… [She recreates the pose as if I’m not one of the 10 million people who liked it on Instagram]. I was like, ‘Why they trying to trick us?’ But then when we found out that it was actually a real picture coming from her camp. Then we were able to actually announce it. I was just so happy for her and so excited for her. It shows a lot that she’s pushing the boundaries. She’s like I’m going to be a mother. I’m going to be a singer, a successful business woman. And that’s an important role I think for her. She’s enjoying her pregnancy and she’s showing it. But it’s like those twins need to come now. They can come."
Yes, I’m tired of seeing, “She looks so cute pregnant!” I want her to have those babies now because I’m pretty sure she’s ready. Knowing Beyoncé, she’s probably already had the twins and we just don’t know it.
"I keep telling people that she’s had them already! These are just old pictures and then she’s going to come out looking fabulous. Oh my god! This is why she’s the queen."
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I think we’re running on a two-week lag on Beyonce’s pregnancy.
"I think even a month."
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